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Promoting A Political Settlement…

Saudi Arabia may face more competition from other regional powers in the coming days, as Iran and Turkey have decided to bolster co-operation. The concerned authorities in Ankara have confirmed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently discussed different aspects of bilateral ties with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, over phone. While their discussion centred around economy, transport system, security measures and other important issues, President Erdoğan reportedly assured President Rouhani that Ankara would maintain cordial ties with Tehran.

The Iranian President strongly criticised Washington DC for imposing sanctions on Turkey, stressing that the main aim of the US was to see to it that the condition in the Middle East gets unstable, with the help of Saudi Arabia and Israel. President Rouhani, in that process, recalled the assassination of Qasem Soleimani – an Iranian military officer widely considered to be the right-hand man of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. Soleimani, who had served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was assassinated at around 1am (local time) on January 3, 2020 by US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport. President Rouhani told the Turkish President that countries, facing sanctions imposed by the US, should get and remain united in order to counter the hegemony of the US, along with its illegal actions. “If we do not take a united stand against the aggressive actions of the US, the entire region will be in grave danger,” he stated.

President Rouhani & President Erdoğan

Meanwhile, President Erdoğan said he sincerely wished that the current US Administration would abandon unilateral sanctions on Iran and lift restrictions on the prosperity of Iranian people, mentioning that recent statements, issued by the US, might lead to a new window of opportunity. The Russian media reported that the President of Turkey expressed sympathy for the brutal assassination of Qasem Soleimani, saying that his country understood the anger and emotions of the people of Iran. He further assured President Rouhani that Turkey would never allow the US to destabilise the region.

The two Leaders also discussed the current political situation in neighbouring Syria. They agreed that Turkey, Iran and Russia would have to play an important role in rebuilding the war-ravaged nation. According to President Rouhani, it is important to provide all sorts of help to the Bashar al-Assad Administration in Damascus for the revival of the Syrian economy.

Experts are of the opinion that cordial ties between Iran and Turkey would not only create troubles for Saudi Arabia and the US, but also for Israel. Saudi Arabia and Israel’s proximity with the US has prompted Iran and Turkey to amend their foreign policies. Both Tehran and Ankara have made various moves to strengthen ties with other Arab Nations in recent times, in an attempt to put the other two regional powers (Saudi and Israel) under the steady and cumbersome diplomatic pressure. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s backing has also helped them counter the US hegemony in the region.

It seems that US President Joe Biden, who has recently been elected, would have to work really hard in order to change his country’s image in West Asia.

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